Monday, January 31, 2005
- My fellow citizens, events in Iraq have now reached the final days of decision. For more than a decade, the United States and other nations have pursued patient and honorable efforts to disarm the Iraqi regime without war. That regime pledged to reveal and destroy all its weapons of mass destruction as a condition for ending the Persian Gulf War in 1991.
Since then, the world has engaged in 12 years of diplomacy. We have passed more than a dozen resolutions in the United Nations Security Council. We have sent hundreds of weapons inspectors to oversee the disarmament of Iraq. Our good faith has not been returned.
The Iraqi regime has used diplomacy as a ploy to gain time and advantage. It has uniformly defied Security Council resolutions demanding full disarmament. Over the years, U.N. weapon inspectors have been threatened by Iraqi officials, electronically bugged, and systematically deceived. Peaceful efforts to disarm the Iraqi regime have failed again and again -- because we are not dealing with peaceful men.
Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised. This regime has already used weapons of mass destruction against Iraq's neighbors and against Iraq's people.
The regime has a history of reckless aggression in the Middle East. It has a deep hatred of America and our friends. And it has aided, trained and harbored terrorists, including operatives of al Qaeda.
The danger is clear: using chemical, biological or, one day, nuclear weapons, obtained with the help of Iraq, the terrorists could fulfill their stated ambitions and kill thousands or hundreds of thousands of innocent people in our country, or any other.
The United States and other nations did nothing to deserve or invite this threat. But we will do everything to defeat it. Instead of drifting along toward tragedy, we will set a course toward safety. Before the day of horror can come, before it is too late to act, this danger will be removed.
The United States of America has the sovereign authority to use force in assuring its own national security. That duty falls to me, as Commander-in-Chief, by the oath I have sworn, by the oath I will keep.
Recognizing the threat to our country, the United States Congress voted overwhelmingly last year to support the use of force against Iraq. America tried to work with the United Nations to address this threat because we wanted to resolve the issue peacefully. We believe in the mission of the United Nations. One reason the U.N. was founded after the second world war was to confront aggressive dictators, actively and early, before they can attack the innocent and destroy the peace.
In the case of Iraq, the Security Council did act, in the early 1990s. Under Resolutions 678 and 687 -- both still in effect -- the United States and our allies are authorized to use force in ridding Iraq of weapons of mass destruction. This is not a question of authority, it is a question of will.
Last September, I went to the U.N. General Assembly and urged the nations of the world to unite and bring an end to this danger. On November 8th, the Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 1441, finding Iraq in material breach of its obligations, and vowing serious consequences if Iraq did not fully and immediately disarm.
Today, no nation can possibly claim that Iraq has disarmed. And it will not disarm so long as Saddam Hussein holds power. For the last four-and-a-half months, the United States and our allies have worked within the Security Council to enforce that Council's long-standing demands. Yet, some permanent members of the Security Council have publicly announced they will veto any resolution that compels the disarmament of Iraq. These governments share our assessment of the danger, but not our resolve to meet it. Many nations, however, do have the resolve and fortitude to act against this threat to peace, and a broad coalition is now gathering to enforce the just demands of the world. The United Nations Security Council has not lived up to its responsibilities, so we will rise to ours.
In recent days, some governments in the Middle East have been doing their part. They have delivered public and private messages urging the dictator to leave Iraq, so that disarmament can proceed peacefully. He has thus far refused. All the decades of deceit and cruelty have now reached an end. Saddam Hussein and his sons must leave Iraq within 48 hours. Their refusal to do so will result in military conflict, commenced at a time of our choosing. For their own safety, all foreign nationals -- including journalists and inspectors -- should leave Iraq immediately.
Many Iraqis can hear me tonight in a translated radio broadcast, and I have a message for them. If we must begin a military campaign, it will be directed against the lawless men who rule your country and not against you. As our coalition takes away their power, we will deliver the food and medicine you need. We will tear down the apparatus of terror and we will help you to build a new Iraq that is prosperous and free. In a free Iraq, there will be no more wars of aggression against your neighbors, no more poison factories, no more executions of dissidents, no more torture chambers and rape rooms. The tyrant will soon be gone. The day of your liberation is near.
It is too late for Saddam Hussein to remain in power. It is not too late for the Iraqi military to act with honor and protect your country by permitting the peaceful entry of coalition forces to eliminate weapons of mass destruction. Our forces will give Iraqi military units clear instructions on actions they can take to avoid being attacked and destroyed. I urge every member of the Iraqi military and intelligence services, if war comes, do not fight for a dying regime that is not worth your own life.
And all Iraqi military and civilian personnel should listen carefully to this warning. In any conflict, your fate will depend on your action. Do not destroy oil wells, a source of wealth that belongs to the Iraqi people. Do not obey any command to use weapons of mass destruction against anyone, including the Iraqi people. War crimes will be prosecuted. War criminals will be punished. And it will be no defense to say, "I was just following orders."
Should Saddam Hussein choose confrontation, the American people can know that every measure has been taken to avoid war, and every measure will be taken to win it. Americans understand the costs of conflict because we have paid them in the past. War has no certainty, except the certainty of sacrifice.
Yet, the only way to reduce the harm and duration of war is to apply the full force and might of our military, and we are prepared to do so. If Saddam Hussein attempts to cling to power, he will remain a deadly foe until the end. In desperation, he and terrorists groups might try to conduct terrorist operations against the American people and our friends. These attacks are not inevitable. They are, however, possible. And this very fact underscores the reason we cannot live under the threat of blackmail. The terrorist threat to America and the world will be diminished the moment that Saddam Hussein is disarmed.
Our government is on heightened watch against these dangers. Just as we are preparing to ensure victory in Iraq, we are taking further actions to protect our homeland. In recent days, American authorities have expelled from the country certain individuals with ties to Iraqi intelligence services. Among other measures, I have directed additional security of our airports, and increased Coast Guard patrols of major seaports. The Department of Homeland Security is working closely with the nation's governors to increase armed security at critical facilities across America.
Should enemies strike our country, they would be attempting to shift our attention with panic and weaken our morale with fear. In this, they would fail. No act of theirs can alter the course or shake the resolve of this country. We are a peaceful people -- yet we're not a fragile people, and we will not be intimidated by thugs and killers. If our enemies dare to strike us, they and all who have aided them, will face fearful consequences.
We are now acting because the risks of inaction would be far greater. In one year, or five years, the power of Iraq to inflict harm on all free nations would be multiplied many times over. With these capabilities, Saddam Hussein and his terrorist allies could choose the moment of deadly conflict when they are strongest. We choose to meet that threat now, where it arises, before it can appear suddenly in our skies and cities.
The cause of peace requires all free nations to recognize new and undeniable realities. In the 20th century, some chose to appease murderous dictators, whose threats were allowed to grow into genocide and global war. In this century, when evil men plot chemical, biological and nuclear terror, a policy of appeasement could bring destruction of a kind never before seen on this earth.
Terrorists and terror states do not reveal these threats with fair notice, in formal declarations -- and responding to such enemies only after they have struck first is not self-defense, it is suicide. The security of the world requires disarming Saddam Hussein now.
As we enforce the just demands of the world, we will also honor the deepest commitments of our country. Unlike Saddam Hussein, we believe the Iraqi people are deserving and capable of human liberty. And when the dictator has departed, they can set an example to all the Middle East of a vital and peaceful and self-governing nation.
The United States, with other countries, will work to advance liberty and peace in that region. Our goal will not be achieved overnight, but it can come over time. The power and appeal of human liberty is felt in every life and every land. And the greatest power of freedom is to overcome hatred and violence, and turn the creative gifts of men and women to the pursuits of peace.
That is the future we choose. Free nations have a duty to defend our people by uniting against the violent. And tonight, as we have done before, America and our allies accept that responsibility.
Good night, and may God continue to bless America.
You know, it's funny. After reading that I would have thought that the purpose of our going to war was because someone was threatening us. What was I thinking? Obviously the whole point was to liberate the Iraqi people. After all, he does mention it at the end.
I can't believe this guy is still in charge. What a joke.
Friday, January 28, 2005
See you all on Monday!
Thursday, January 27, 2005
- It was revealed today that the Bush administration had paid popular radio host Armstrong Williams almost a quarter of a million dollars of taxpayer money to speak positively about its No Child Left Behind act. While I'm not surprised that the White House would stoop to such a low level in order to promote itself, it does make me wonder: Who else is getting paid?
Really, is it beyond the realm of possibility that if they did it once that they would be willing to do it again. Or is it possible that this is not the first time that this has happened? We already know about the fake new reports that were issued to promote their Medicare prescription plan, so could it be that these are not isolated incidents but parts of a much wider plan? Knowing this administration's penchant for misleading, I would say that the odds are pretty good.
Then yesterday we learned that columnist Maggie Gallagher was being paid by the Bush administration to promote the White House's marriage initiative.
- Gallagher failed to mention that she had a $21,500 contract with the Department of Health and Human Services to help promote the president's proposal. Her work under the contract, which ran from January through October 2002, included drafting a magazine article for the HHS official overseeing the initiative, writing brochures for the program and conducting a briefing for department officials.
"Did I violate journalistic ethics by not disclosing it?" Gallagher said yesterday. "I don't know. You tell me." She said she would have "been happy to tell anyone who called me" about the contract but that "frankly, it never occurred to me" to disclose it.
And if that wasn't enough, today we discovered number three.
- One day after President Bush ordered his Cabinet secretaries to stop hiring commentators to help promote administration initiatives, and one day after the second high-profile conservative pundit was found to be on the federal payroll, a third embarrassing hire has emerged. Salon has confirmed that Michael McManus, a marriage advocate whose syndicated column, "Ethics & Religion," appears in 50 newspapers, was hired as a subcontractor by the Department of Health and Human Services to foster a Bush-approved marriage initiative. McManus championed the plan in his columns without disclosing to readers he was being paid to help it succeed.
So how many more? How many more columnists, journalists, pundits, or commentators have received tax payer money to promote Bush's agenda? My guess? More than we care to count.
The first time I asked Who Else? Now the question is: Who's Next?
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
Reaching Across the Aisle
- [E]very time one of these idiots opens his mouth and lets me know how liberal they are, I just add them to my black list. I'm telling you, my list is getting long and my choice of entertainers that I still support is getting small.
-kissfan's conservative relative
Of course we all know that one of the traits of liberals is that they look out for the little guy. (See quote at the top of this page.) So I find it hard to understand why he hates liberals so much. Nevertheless, he is who he is.
So in the interest of bi-partisanship, I thought I'd help him out a little. You know, reach across the aisle, as they say. After reading this story over at DailyKos, I thought that this could be a useful tool for today's hate-filled conservative. A little Liberals for Dummies if you will. Something they can refer to when they need someone to hate. So without further ado, I give you the Liberal List: Chapter 1 (complete with links for the more obscure).
Susan B. Anthony
Simone de Beauvoir
Ludwig van Beethoven
Mary J. Blige
Inez Mulholland Bossevain
To be continued....
Tuesday, January 25, 2005
It's All About the Spin
As I was working today, I had MSNBC on the television and they were discussing the Senate debate over Condescending Rice's confirmation. In keeping with the liberal media tradition, they were talking to a Republican congressman about the Democrat's attacks on the handling of the war in Iraq. His response was typical Republican spin, of course. I'm paraphrasing here, but it went something like this: The Democrats are using this opportunity to once again show that they would rather the Iraqi people were still living under the tyrannical boot of Saddam Hussein; or some similarly ridiculous statement. Now I was unable to see the debate today, but I'm willing to bet that there wasn't one Democrat who expressed anything remotely close to this sentiment. But the congressman was pitching hard. He was trying to control the spin.
Of course all of this comes from the "You're either with us or against us" school of thought. In a perfect conservative world there would be no dissent. Everyone would nod their head and smile and go about their business blissfully uninformed. (Unfortunately, this is already happening in some circles in this country.) But nothing is perfect. People make mistakes and it is the job of the opposition to capitalize on them. How many times has an error cost a baseball team a win? (You know what I'm talking about here, Red Sox fans. We all remember 1986.) Or how many times has a game been lost on a bad pitch? (Come on Phillies fans, can you say Mitch Williams?) The fact that Republicans are attacking Democrats for pointing out their mistakes is simply ludicrous. It's their job! Just because other Republicans are bending over and taking it from the Bush administration doesn't mean that everybody should.
Right now there are only a few Democrats that are picking up the spin and making contact with the ball. Barbara Boxer is clearly hitting clean-up for us. My advice to the other Democrats is this: Start swinging the damn bat! You can't hit the ball if you don't swing. When the Republicans throw you a big fat hanging curve like the one I heard today on MSNBC, hit it out of the park. At the very least, foul it off and live to see another pitch.
Of course nobody in the Democratic party would wish for the Iraqis to continue living under the tyrannical boot of Saddam Hussein. The only thing worse than that would be to allow the country to sink into a state of chaos and force them to live under the tyrannical boot of an insurgency.
Monday, January 24, 2005
- "...they [conservatives] love America the way a four-year-old loves her mommy. Liberals love America like grown-ups. To a four-year-old, everything Mommy does is wonderful and anyone who criticizes Mommy is bad. Grown-up love means actually understanding what you love, taking the good with the bad, and helping your loved one grow. Love takes attention and work and is the best thing in the world."
Hopefully the Democratic party will make good on Al's statement. They could start by making sure that these people get what they deserve.
- The sons of a first-term congresswoman and Milwaukee's former acting mayor were among five Democratic activists charged Monday with slashing the tires of vans rented by Republicans to drive voters and monitors to the polls on Election Day.
Sowande Omokunde, son of Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wis., and Michael Pratt, the son of former Milwaukee acting mayor Marvin Pratt, were among those charged with criminal damage to property, a felony that carries a maximum punishment of 3 1/2 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
The activists are accused of flattening the tires on 25 vehicles rented by the state Republican Party to get out the vote and deliver poll watchers November 2.
Also charged were Lewis Caldwell and Lavelle Mohammad, both from Milwaukee, and Justin Howell of Racine.
The Democratic party needs to get in front of this one. If they hesitate (and by hesistate I mean wait more than twenty-four hours), the Republicans will quickly spin these people into the poster-children for all Democrats. If we want to be the party of the values we claim, we can't tolerate this from anyone, including one of our own. If these people are found to be guilty, I hope they receive the maximum punishment allowable by law. Not only are they breaking the law, but they are besmirching the face of the party they are supposed to be advancing.
And if that wasn't bad enough, there's also this.
- A state lawmaker who heads a committee on child welfare has acknowledged that he lives in separate homes with two women whose children he fathered.
Sen. John Ford testified in a Juvenile Court hearing in November as part of his defense in a child support case over increasing his financial support of another child he fathered with a third woman, The Commercial Appeal newspaper of Memphis reported Sunday.
The Memphis Democrat has tried to make use of a law he authored that keeps court-ordered support lower when a father is financially responsible for other children.
In the hearing, Ford said he lives some days with ex-wife Tamara Mitchell-Ford and the three children they had together. On others, he said, he stays with his longtime girlfriend, Connie Mathews, and their two children.
While what he is doing isn't necessarily illegal, it provides fodder for the wingnuts that like to paint liberals as morally corrupt. It's another instance of one of our own shooting us in the foot. If we continue to give the conservatives this type of red meat we are going to find it very difficult to break their hold on the morals issue.
By getting out in front of both of these issues, we can show that we are against any type of amoralistic behavior even when it involves someone from our own party. This is something the Republicans can't claim as long as they are going to try and bend the rules to protect people like Tom DeLay. Their allegience to one of their own based on party affiliation compromises their moralistic claim. By doing what is right in the two aforementioned situations, we can begin to draw a stark contrast between us and them. We believe that everyone should be held to a higher standard of behavior. They believe that they are immune to that standard.
We are, of course the party of higher morals, but we have to start acting like it. It's never too early to start.
Friday, January 21, 2005
George W. Bush's Balls
I don't know about you, but I am sick and tired of hearing about George Bush's balls. I really couldn't care less about how long he danced, what time he went to bed, who the caterer was, or how many balls he's had. And for God's sake, who the hell cares what Laura was wearing? She could wear a diamond studded gown and it wouldn't change anything. She's still a doormat for a moron.
But no, we have to hear about it all. We need to know how long he danced at each of the ten balls he attended. We need to know who the chef was for the "Black Tie and Boots" ball and how he prepares his brisket. Why? Because it's important, dammit! This stuff matters!
Actually, the reason we keep hearing about Bush's balls is because there isn't anything else positive to report on this hayseed. Honestly, what are they going to report? Are they going to say that he spent $44 million on this little shindig while he's considering cutting Medicaid? I don't think so. Or maybe they could report about the thirty-eight American troops that have been killed in Iraq so far this month. Or they could always report on the fake social security crisis the Bush administration is trying to push on us. Or they could even report about the impending arrest of Ahmed Chalabi, George's guest of honor at his last State of the Union address.
But no, none of those things are as important as George W. Bush's balls. So we get to hear about how big George's balls are. And we get to hear about how lavish George's balls are. And frankly, I'm getting a little nauseated by all the attention George's balls are getting. I can only hope that we don't have to hear about Laura's bush anytime soon. There's no way I could deal with that!
Thursday, January 20, 2005
Now He Tells Us
- Vice President Dick Cheney said Thursday that he overestimated the pace of Iraq's recovery from the U.S.-led invasion because he didn't realize the lasting devastation wrought by Saddam Hussein on his people after the first Gulf War.
Asked to name his mistakes in planning the war in Iraq, Cheney said he had not anticipated how long it would take the Iraqis to begin running their own country. Not until after Saddam was ousted did the United States realize the extent of the Iraqi leader's brutality in putting down revolt in 1991, Cheney said.
"I think the hundreds of thousands of people who were slaughtered at the time, including anybody who had the gumption to stand up and challenge him, made the situation tougher than I would have thought," he said on "The Don Imus Show" on the radio.
"I would chalk that one up as a miscalculation, where I thought things would have recovered more quickly," Cheney said.
First of all, if he just figured out that we may have "miscalculated" then he's a complete moron. We've been miscalculating in Iraq since sometime around 2002. I'd like to hear him tell the families of our 1,300 dead soldiers that we may have miscalculated. "Sorry Mrs. Smith, we seem to have miscalculated your son's life away." Bullshit! Miscalculated my ass. We didn't miscalculate we fucked up! Plain and simple. We covered our ears and sang "la la la" like a snotty little child when anyone dared to contradict us and now we say we miscalculated. If this was a miscalculation I'd hate to see what things would be like if we had been wrong.
Second of all, this is a complete fucking lie. How could we not "realize the lasting devastation wrought by Saddam Hussein on his people after the first Gulf War?" We've got satellite pictures that are capable of pinpointing the exact locations of fictitious WMD labs and we're supposed to believe that we were clueless about the "lasting devestation?" Clueless, yes, but not about this. We knew what Saddam had been doing during that time. We had documentation about the torture rooms and rape rooms didn't we? We'd been monitoring his activities through the UN since the end of the Gulf War, hadn't we. What about all of the atrocities he had commited? Hell, we even knew how many Kurds he had gassed with the chemical and biological agents we gave him back in the eighties, but we're expected to believe that we didn't know anything about the lasting devesatation. Sure, Dick. Whatever you say.
Now some might call me cynical, but maybe the "devestation" he's referring to was actually caused by us when we rushed into Iraq without knowing what the hell we were doing in the first place. Maybe if we had gone in with enough troops we could have secured the country and prevented some of this "devestation" from happening. Maybe if we hadn't rushed in to secure the oil fields while leaving the rest of the country completely unguarded we could have fended off some of the "devestation." And who's to blame for the bombed out buildings and neighborhoods? And who's to blame for the lack of drinking water and electricity that sections of the country are still suffering from? And who's to blame for the multitude of terrorists that are now in Iraq due to the unsecured borders? How about those things Dick? Did we miscalculate there too?
We didn't just miscalculate here folks, we screwed the pooch on this one. We shit in our own bed and we're trying to blame it on someone else. Sorry Dick, you can't unscrew this pooch. It's all ours.
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
- " I want to take one-half of the surplus and dedicate it to Social Security. One-quarter of the surplus for important projects, and I want to send one-quarter of the surplus back to the people who pay the bills. I want everybody who pays taxes to have their tax rates cut. And that stands in contrast to my worthy opponent's plan, which will increase the size of government dramatically. His plan is three times larger than President Clinton's proposed plan eight years ago. It is a plan that will have 200 new programs -- expanded programs and creates 20,000 new bureaucrats. It it empowers Washington. My vision is to empower Americans to be able to make decisions for themselves in their own lives."
Well, that didn't happen did it?
- "I have a proud record of working with both Republicans and Democrats, which is what our nation needs. Somebody that can come to Washington and say let's forget all the finger pointing and get positive things done on Medicare, prescription drugs, Social Security..."
Apparently he forgot to forget.
- " I've got a plan on Medicare, for example, that's a two-stage plan that says we'll have immediate help for seniors and what I call immediately Helping Hand, a $48 billion program. But I also want to say to seniors, if you're happy with Medicare the way it is, fine, you can stay in the program. But we're going to give you additional choices like they give federal employees in the federal employee health plan. They have a variety of choices to choose, so should seniors. And my point has been, as opposed to politicizing an issue like Medicare, in other words, holding it up hoping somebody bites it and try to clobber them over the head for political purposes, this year it's time to get it done once and for all. That's what I've been critical about the administration for. Same with Social Security. I think there was a good opportunity to bring Republicans and Democrats together to reform the Social Security system so seniors will never go without. Those on Social Security today will have their promise made, but also to give younger workers the option at their choice of being able to manage some of their own money in the private sector to make sure there's a Social Security system around tomorrow."
Blah, blah, blah...
And my personal favorites:
- "...the United States must have a strong diplomatic hand with our friends in NATO. That's why it's important to make sure our alliances are as strong as they possibly can be..."
- "Well, if [the use of force is] in our vital national interest, and that means whether our territory is threatened or people could be harmed, whether or not the alliances are -- our defense alliances are threatened, whether or not our friends in the Middle East are threatened. That would be a time to seriously consider the use of force. Secondly, whether or not the mission was clear. Whether or not it was a clear understanding as to what the mission would be. Thirdly, whether or not we were prepared and trained to win. Whether or not our forces were of high morale and high standing and well-equipped. And finally, whether or not there was an exit strategy. I would take the use of force very seriously. I would be guarded in my approach. I don't think we can be all things to all people in the world. I think we've got to be very careful when we commit our troops. The vice president and I have a disagreement about the use of troops. He believes in nation building. I would be very careful about using our troops as nation builders. I believe the role of the military is to fight and win war and therefore prevent war from happening in the first place. So I would take my responsibility seriously. And it starts with making sure we rebuild our military power. Morale in today's military is too low. We're having trouble meeting recruiting goals. We met the goals this year, but in the previous years we have not met recruiting goals. Some of our troops are not well-equipped. I believe we're overextended in too many places. And therefore I want to rebuild the military power. It starts with a billion dollar pay raise for the men and women who wear the uniform. A billion dollars more than the president recently signed into law. It's to make sure our troops are well-housed and well-equipped. Bonus plans to keep some of our high-skilled folks in the services and a commander in chief that sets the mission to fight and win war and prevent war from happening in the first place."
He sure fucked that one up, didn't he?
- "If we don't have a clear vision of the military, if we don't stop extending our troops all around the world and nation building missions, then we're going to have a serious problem coming down the road, and I'm going to prevent that."
All of these quotes came from the first half of the first debate between George W. Bush and Al Gore on October 3, 2000. What an ambitious little boy George was. It's too bad all of this turned out to be complete bullshit! I'm sure we can count on more of the same for the next four years.
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
The More Things Change...
- MODERATOR: Many experts, including Federal Reserve Chairman Greenspan, Vice President Gore, say that it will be impossible for either of you, essentially, to keep the system viable on its own during the coming baby boomer retirement onslaught without either reducing benefits or increasing taxes. You disagree?
GORE: I do disagree. Because if we can keep our prosperity going, if we can continue balancing the budget and paying down the debt, then the strong economy keeps generating surpluses. Here is my plan. I will keep Social Security in a lockbox and that pays down the national debt. And the interest savings I would put right back into Social Security. That extends the life of Social Security for 55 years. Now, I think that it's very important to understand that cutting benefits under Social Security means that people like Winifred Skinner from Des Moines, Iowa, who is here, would really have a much harder time. Because there are millions of seniors who are living almost hand to mouth. And you talk about cutting benefits. I don't go along with it. I am opposed to it. I'm also opposed to a plan that diverts 1 out of every $6 away from the Social Security Trust Fund. Social Security is a trust fund that pays the checks this year with the money that is paid into Social Security this year. The governor wants to divert 1 out of every $6 off into the stock market, which means that he would drain a trillion dollars out of the Social Security Trust Fund in this generation over the next ten years, and Social Security under that approach would go bankrupt within this generation. His leading advisor on this plan actually said that would be okay, because then the Social Security Trust Fund could start borrowing. It would borrow up to $3 trillion. Now, Social Security has never done that. And I don't think it should do that. I think it should stay in a lockbox, and I'll tell you this. I will veto anything that takes money out of Social Security for privatization or anything else other than Social Security.
BUSH: I thought it was interesting that on the two minutes he spent about a million-and-a-half on my plan, which means he doesn't want you to know what he's doing is loading up IOUs for future generations. He puts no real assets into the Social Security system. The revenues exceed the expenses in Social Security until the year 2015 which means all retirees are going to get the promises made. For those of you who he wants to scare into the voting booth to vote for him, hear me loud and clear. A promise made will be a promise kept. You bet we want to allow younger workers to take some of their own money. That's the difference of opinion. The vice president thinks it's the government's money. The payroll taxes are your money. You ought to put it in prudent, safe investments so that $1 trillion over the next ten years grows to be $3 trillion. The money stays within the Social Security system. It's a part of the Social Security system. He claims it will be out of Social Security. It's your money, it's a part of your retirement benefit. It's a fundamental difference between what we believe. I want you to have your own asset that you can call your own. That you can pass on from one generation to the next. I want to get a better rate of return for your own money than the paltry 2% that the current Social Security Trust gets today. Mr. Greenspan I thought missed an opportunity to say there's a third way, and that is to get a better rate of return on the Social Security monies coming into the trust. There is $2.3 trillion of surplus that we can use to make sure that younger workers have a Social Security plan in the future. If we're smart and if we trust workers and if we understand the power of the compounding rate of interest.
GORE: Here is the difference. I give a new incentive for younger workers to save their own money and invest their own money, but not at the expense of Social Security, on top of Social Security. My plan is Social Security plus. The governor's plan is Social Security minus. Your future benefits would be cut by the amount that's diverted into the stock market. If you make bad investments, that's too bad. But even before then the problem hits because the money contributed to Social Security this year is an entitlement. That's how it works. And the money is used to pay the benefits for seniors this year. If you cut the amount going in 1 out of every $6, then you have to cut the value of each check by 1 out of every $6 unless you come up with the money from somewhere else. I would like to know from the governor -- I know we're not supposed to ask each other questions -- but I'd be interested in knowing, does that trillion dollars come from the trust fund, or does it come from the rest of the budget?
BUSH: No. There's enough money to pay seniors today in the current affairs of Social Security. The trillion comes from the surplus. Surplus is money -- more money than needed. Let me tell you what your plan is. It's not Social Security plus, it's Social Security plus huge debt. That is what it is. You leave future generations with tremendous IOUs. It's time to have a leader that doesn't put off tomorrow what we should do today. It's time to have somebody to step up and say look, let's let younger workers take some of their own money and under certain guidelines invest it in the private markets. The safest of federal investments yields 4%. That's twice the amount of rate of return than the current Social Security Trust. It's a fundamental difference of opinion here, folks. Younger worker after younger worker hears my call that says I trust you. And you know what, the issue is changeing. Seniors now understand that the promise made will be a promise kept, but younger workers now understand we better have a government that trusts them and that's exactly what I'm going to do.
GORE: Could I respond to that, Jim? This is a big issue. Could we do another round on it?
MODERATOR: We're almost out of time.
GORE: Just briefly. When FDR established Social Security, they didn't call them IOUs, they called it the full faith and credit of the United States. If you don't have trust in that, I do. If you take it out of the surplus in the trust fund, that means the trust fund goes bankrupt in this generation within 20 years.
BUSH: This is a government that thinks a 2% rate of return on your money is satisfactory. It's not. This is a government that says younger workers can't possibly have their own assets. We need to think differently about the issue. We need to make sure our seniors get the promise made. If we don't trust younger workers to manage some of their own money with the Social Security surplus, to grow from $1 trillion to $3 trillion, it will be impossible to bridge the gap without it. What Mr. Gore's plan will do causing huge payroll taxes or major benefit reductions.
Telling isn't it? George didn't get it then and he sure as hell doesn't get it now.
Monday, January 17, 2005
"I Have A Dream..."
On that day Rev. King spoke of promise, hope, and desire. He spoke of hard times passed and good times to come. He spoke of hatred and love; despair and determination. But most of all, he spoke of the future.
- I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification - one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.
You see, Rev. King knew that everything couldn't happen today. Things that matter take time. As the saying goes: "Rome wasn't built in a day." But we live in a society that wants instant gratification. We want things now. It doesn't matter how or why, as long as we get what we want and the future be damned. The evidence is in our leadership.
I'm so old that I can remember when our government was forward looking. Remember Bill Clinton's first campaign song, "Don't Stop (Thinking About Tomorrow)?" And what about that "Bridge to the Twenty-first Century?" President Clinton understood that the power of our nation didn't rest in the here and now, but in our future. Just as Rev. King spoke about the days to come, President Clinton spoke of tomorrows. They spoke of a better America.
George W. Bush doesn't understand this. George W. Bush doesn't look to the future when it comes to our country. Take education for instance. No Child Left Behind doesn't prepare our students for the future, it prepares them to pass a test today. At what point in their life is it going to be beneficial to know that the answer is almost never "E?" At what point in their life will it benefit them to know the "guess and check" method of mathematical problem solving? Outside of a standardized test, there is no use for these skills. We are preparing our students for today, not tomorrow. We're trying to improve our test scores immediately so that we look good today, to hell with what the future might bring.
Another example could be drawn form George Bush's handling of the budget surplusses. You remember surplusses don't you? Sure you do, they're the things that were squansered by the Bush tax cuts. To listen to them now, the Bush administration likes to say that the initial tax cuts were implemented as a way to help stimulate an economy that was in recession. But that's not what they were saying at the time.
- "People need to know that over the next ten years it is going to be $25 trillion of revenue that comes into our treasurey and we anticipate spending $21 trillion. And my plan say why don't we pass 1.3 trillion of that back to the people who pay the bills? Surely we can afford 5% of the $25 trillion that are coming into the treasury to the hard working people that pay the bills. There is a difference of opinion. My opponent thinks the government -- the surplus is the government's money. That's not what I think. I think it's the hard-working people of America's money and I want to share some of that money with you so you have more money to build and save and dream for your families. It's a difference of opinion. It's a difference between government making decisions for you and you getting more of your money to make decisions for yourself."
George W. Bush
October 3, 2000
First Presidential Debate
So much for "save for a rainy day." Let's get the most out of it now and screw the future. It sure would be nice if we still had those surplusses to fall back on wouldn't it? Oh well, woulda-shoulda-coulda. Planning is for liberals.
What it comes down to is this: George W. Bush is threatening the future of our country with his live for today, take tomorrow as it comes attitude. While this may be the mantra of Generation X, the X-treme crowd, and aging rock-stars, it can not be the plan for our country's future. We need something more secure. The results may not be immediate, but as they say (one more cliche) patience is a virtue. As Democrats we have to do all we can to stop George W. Bush from threatening the future of our country any further. His erratic policies and haphazard planning are pushing our country ever closer to the brink of disaster for future generations. We must act now to stop this. It won't happen today, in fact it won't happen tomorrow either, but over time we can begin to regain the promise that our future once held.
By the way, with all of this talk about Social Security these days, I have to ask this: Does anybody remember what was in Al Gore's lockbox?
Al got it, why didn't George?
Friday, January 14, 2005
After a four year inability to identify any mistakes, he kind of almost maybe came close to admitting to a couple.....sort of.
- "Sometimes, words have consequences you don't intend them to mean," Bush said Thursday.
"'Bring 'em on' is the classic example, when I was really trying to rally the troops and make it clear to them that I fully understood, you know, what a great job they were doing. And those words had an unintended consequence. It kind of, some interpreted it to be defiance in the face of danger. That certainly wasn't the case."
He went on to say:
- [Referring to "I want justice. And there's an old poster out West, that I recall, that said, 'Wanted, Dead or Alive."']
"I can remember getting back to the White House, and Laura said, 'Why did you do that for?' I said, 'Well, it was just an expression that came out. I didn't rehearse it.'
"I don't know if you'd call it a regret, but it certainly is a lesson that a president must be mindful of, that the words that you sometimes say. ... I speak plainly sometimes, but you've got to be mindful of the consequences of the words. So put that down. I don't know if you'd call that a confession, a regret, something."
Notice the word sorry never crossed his lips. Notice too the lack of any reference to a mistake. This guy admits to nothing. I'm reminded of the time during the 2000 campaign when, unaware that the microphone was open, he remarked to Dick Cheney, "There's Adam Clymer, major-league asshole from The New York Times." Did he apologize? Absolutely not! Did he say it was a mistake? Get real! In fact, his response was, "I regret that a private comment I made to the vice-presidential candidate made it into the public airwaves." That's nice. It's like saying, "I regret that I killed your entire family, I was only aiming for you." What is wrong with this guy? Why can't he admit that he's done a few things wrong?
This all makes me think about that episode of Happy Days where Fonzie has to say he's sorry. He keeps saying "I'm really so-o-o-r-r.... I'm really s-s-s-s-o-o-rr........." You see, he's too cool to admit any faults and is therefore unable to say the word. Well George, you aren't Fonzie (even though I'm pretty sure you like to think that you are). You can say the word.
If George W. Bush is unable to admit his mistakes, he is unable to learn from them. As George Bernard Shaw once said, "A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing." Until we have a president that is willing to learn from his mistakes, I fear for our nation.
Thursday, January 13, 2005
Since the beginning of the year, we've already lost twenty-seven soldiers. Political figures are dying, election officials are being murdered, religious leaders are being gunned down, and with every attack more civilians die every day. All because we were told that Saddam possessed WMD. We weren't told just once, but several times. Sometimes multiple times per day. Our elected leaders told us. Our media told us. The people we're supposed to be able to trust misled us. And the result is thousands of dead and wounded.
Any self-respecting nation would be embarrassed, but our leaders continue to blame everyone but themselves. As a nation spirals out of control suffering nearly seventy attacks per day, the only thing we can do is say it wasn't our fault. It was bad intelligence. As the Rude Pundit said yesterday, we fucked the goat when it came to Iraq. It's going to take years to clean up this mess and even longer to repair our reputation around the world.
Thanks George. Thanks a lot.
Wednesday, January 12, 2005
So I say, "Why wait?" If the Democrats want to win in '06 and '08 they need to get started now. It's never too early to start defining your opponent.
For instance, it's been announced that Newt Gingrich may be considering a run for the Presidency in 2008. Lord knows that Newt has plenty of baggage so let's start going through it. Let's drag out all the dirty laundry we can find. Put him on the defensive early and keep him there.
This is all part of my original proposal of controlling the language. We can't sit back and wait any longer. The minute a Republican announces that he or she may be considering a bid for office, we need to sic the dogs. Remember when Kerry announced that Edwards would be his veep? It took the Bush campaign about five minutes to post a web page listing all the negatives about him. My guess is that they had a page for very possible veep choice ready to go up as soon as Kerry made the announcement. We could take a lesson from that.
If we continue to wait, the Republicans will continue to define us. I say, "Why wait?" Strike early. Strike often.
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
The Disaster President
- President Bush got high marks for his handling of the tsunami disaster, and his job approval rating went up in a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll released Monday, but most of those surveyed had doubts about his call to overhaul Social Security.
Bush's job approval rating went up to 52 percent in the poll, which was conducted Friday through Sunday in phone calls to 1,008 adult Americans. That's an improvement of 3 percentage points from the last CNN poll, taken in mid-December.
Another 44 percent said they disapproved of his job performance, down 2 percentage points from the December 17-19 survey. The latest poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
He also got high marks for his handling of the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster, with 75 percent of respondents saying they approved of the way he handling it.
But only 42 percent of those surveyed said they approved of his handling of the war in Iraq, and 56 percent disapproved.
And 52 percent said they disapproved of his handling of Social Security -- an issue Bush has called on Congress to tackle in his second term.
Only 41 percent said they approved of Bush's desire to revamp Social Security, on which he has promised to spend the "political capital" he earned from his November election victory.
Every time there's a disaster that isn't caused by him, George W. Bush's approval ratings go up. However, when it comes to his own disasters his approval rating remains low. Why is that?
The truth is, George is good at making people believe that he's empathetic. To quote a previous office holder, he "feels your pain." When 3,000 Americans died on 9/11, he eventually made his way to the disaster site and said what everyone was hoping to hear. Ignoring the fact that he was unable to deliver on his promises, he endeared himself to a number of Americans by showing that he felt just like them. He was hurt, he was angry, and he was determined to seek justice. I think we all felt that way.
Now, fast-forward three years. When over 150,000 people died on December 26, he eventually made his way back from vacation and said what millions of Americans were hoping to hear. He was stunned, he was saddened, and he was determined to send whatever aide was necessary. Once again, I think we all felt that way.
So I ask you, faithful reader, based on these two incidents where Georgie-boy said what we were all thinking, "What is it that sets him apart from any of the rest of us?" If put in the same spot, wouldn't we have all said basically the same things in these two situations? Of course we would have. So would have Al Gore or John Kerry.
My point here is that he's benefiting from doing what anyone is capable of. So to truly understand his effectiveness we have to look at his approval ratings for things other than disasters of someone else's doing. Take Iraq, for instance. Approval rating: 42%. His approval rating on Social Security: 41%. And right track/wrong track numbers: 51% wrong track.
So when the pundits over at Faux News say that George W. Bush is someone that the average American identifies with, what they really mean is that he says what anyone else would be capable of after a tragedy and he fucks up everything else. Sounds like pretty much everyone I know.
Monday, January 10, 2005
"To me, the people have spoken."
For starters, the award for Best Film went to the ultra-unconservative Fahrenheit 9/11. Not bad for a movie full of "lies and propaganda." The award for Best TV Comedy went to the ultra-gay, anti-hetero show Will & Grace. So much for protecting the sanctity of one man and one woman. And finally, the award for Best New TV Drama went to the Monday Night Football controversy causing Desperate Housewives. Hooray for whores! To make matters worse for conservatives, it has been rumored on conservative websites that Mel Gibson went on to say that he felt a "kinship" with Michael Moore and that he liked Fahrenheit 9/11.
What I want to know is: How do movies like F 9/11 and shows like W & G win these awards based upon the votes of Americans when we're supposed to believe that this last election was won on values? Are we to believe that people who liked F 9/11 also voted for Bush? Are we supposed to believe that the eleven states who passed constitutional ammendments to ban gay marriage are laughing right along with the homosexuals on W & G? And what about all those people that were outraged over Nicolette Sheridan's towel stunt on Monday Night Football? I suppose they all voted for that family-values show Desperate Housewives.
In truth, I think Mel Gibson may be exactly right. The people have spoken. The only problem is they don't speak the language we've been led to believe they do. Unless, of course, they're hypocrites. No, I'm sure that would never happen.
Friday, January 07, 2005
Really, is it beyond the realm of possibility that if they did it once that they would be willing to do it again. Or is it possible that this is not the first time that this has happened? We already know about the fake new reports that were issued to promote their Medicare prescription plan, so could it be that these are not isolated incidents but parts of a much wider plan? Knowing this administration's penchant for misleading, I would say that the odds are pretty good.
It all seems so Orwellian doesn't it? A government that controls the flow of information. A government that controls the flow of truth. We've already witnessed the Bush administration's revisionist approach to history: Iraq possessed WMD - no wait, we were freeing the Iraqi people from an evil dictator, yeah that's it. Now we're witnessing their control of the news. What we're dealing with here is real life Ministry of Truth (or MiniTru for you newspeakers out there). Basically, the government tells us what to believe.
So I ask again: Who else is getting paid? Could it be Rush? Or O'Reilly? What about Novak? Or maybe Hannity? The next time you see someone on television promoting a Bush administration idea like social security reform, tax reform, or tort reform, will you wonder? Will you question their motivation? Their honesty? I know I will.
Thursday, January 06, 2005
Eye Of The Beholder
Today's objection was not about overturning the election. It was not about undermining the authority of the office of the president. It was simply the only way to shed light on what has become an all too common occurance; voting irregularities. However, despite repeated Democratic claims to the contrary, the Republicans would have you believe that this was simply a case of the Democrats being sore losers. The political equivalent of holding your breath and kicking your feet. You see, the only thing that Republicans understand is winning. They don't see a point to sticking your neck out for the average American if there's no election to be won. To them, today's actions by the Democrats were pointless.
But as they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and what I witnessed today was indeed beautiful. Sure, we didn't win. We knew we wouldn't. Hell, we couldn't even get the majority of our own party to join the game. But that's the beauty of it all. Fighting hard even though there is no chance. Not giving up even though we know it's going to be hard. Today we saw Democrats that were willing to fight the good fight. We saw Democrats that weren't content to let the Republicans skate by. And we saw the hatred of the Republican party bared for all of America. The smugness. The arrogance. The self-righteous narcissism. It was all there. And it was beautiful.
Wednesday, January 05, 2005
Caught Between Faith and Science
I immediately began racking my brain for other instances like this and surprisingly was able to come up with several rather quickly. I don't know why I haven't made this observation before, but it happens all the time. For instance, as I was listening to Rush Limbaugh recently (I'm kind of masochistic that way), I heard him argue against evolution but for natural selection all within a ten minute time frame. I remember thinking it was kind of ironic, but it didn't really sink in what was happening.
Truth is, this has been happening for years. While many Christians have tried to pass off science as theory (evolution, big bang, continental drift, etc.) they will revert to it to prove their point. I'm reminded of the ossuary that bore the inscription "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus." Who was brought in to authenticate the item? Why scientists of course. And what about the Dead Sea Scrolls? Or the Shroud of Turin? Both have used carbon dating to determine their age.
The thing is, many Christians are more than willing to use science when it suits their needs, but quickly dismiss it as unproven theory when it contradicts their beliefs. In my opinion, Christians really only have two options: swear off science entirely or admit their coexistence. As the former choice would also entail swearing off medicine, I believe their best bet would be to choose the latter. Maybe they can find comfort in the words of the Rev. C.O. Magee, a Presbyterian minister, “Any time religion gets involved in science, religion comes off looking like a bunch of nerds. . . . The Book of Genesis told who created the world and why it was created and science tells how it was done.”
Unfortunately, it looks as as though the evangelicals may have their own ideas about things. According to a new "evangelical" museum, neither science nor history are correct.
- The centrepiece of the museum is a series of huge model dinosaurs, built by the former head of design at Universal Studios, which are portrayed as existing alongside man, contrary to received scientific opinion that they lived millions of years apart.
Other exhibits include images of Adam and Eve, a model of Noah's Ark and a planetarium demonstrating how God made the Earth in six days.
The museum, which has cost a mighty $25 million (£13 million) will be the world's first significant natural history collection devoted to creationist theory. It has been set up by Ken Ham, an Australian evangelist, who runs Answers in Genesis, one of America's most prominent creationist organisations. He said that his aim was to use tourism, and the theme park's striking exhibits, to convert more people to the view that the world and its creatures, including dinosaurs, were created by God 6,000 years ago.
Nice. I guess historians are liberals too. Who's next? Mathmeticians? Will it ever stop?
Tuesday, January 04, 2005
Somtimes The Truth Gets In The Way
- "I find it opportunistic to use the death of someone like Christopher Reeve -- I think it is shameful -- in order to mislead the American people. We should be offering people hope, but neither physicians, scientists, public servants or trial lawyers like John Edwards should be offering hype.
It is cruel to people who have disabilities and chronic diseases, and, on top of that, it's dishonest. It's giving false hope to people, and I can tell you as a physician who's treated scores of thousands of patients that you don't give them false hope."
-Bill Frist (R-TN)
October 12, 2004
Remarks made in reference to John Edwards'
comments concerning embryonic stem cell research
Sometimes your words have a way of comming back and biting you in the ass. Today, Senator Bill Frist got bit.
- Stem cells taken from tiny monkey embryos and implanted in the brain reversed some of the Parkinson's symptoms in monkeys used to study the disease, Japanese researchers reported on Monday.
Their study, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, supports arguments that stem cells taken from days-old embryos can be used to replace damaged tissues in a range of diseases, experts said.
While I'm sure the people from PETA were pissed about the methodology employed for this research, the outcome is clearly more than "false hope." This is early research that could be developed further and improved upon with the proper research. However, research requires money and our government isn't willing to offer up any for this. So to all of you that might be able to benefit from something like this, "too bad, so sad." Our government appreciates your tax dollars but you're on your own. It's been nice knowing you.
What I think is truly sad about the conservative's opposition to this research is that they could be confining people to a needless death. Twenty years from now we may have the ability to cure these diseases like Parkinson's if the government would provide the necessary funding for this research. However, the conservative's reluctance to move forward on this has confined us to a future threatened by the same diseases we are facing right now. This is not the American way of doing things. We are a nation of invention. We are a nation of ingenuity. What if we had applied this same attitude to our other endeavors? Where would we be? Science and medicine would be primitive at best. We'd be stuck in the 1800s.
The true American way would be to break new ground and research this field in the hopes of finding new cures and leading the rest of the world into the new frontier of medicine. Too bad we don't do things like that anymore.
Sidenote: Bill Frist originally supported stem cell research back in 2001.
- Q: What is the effect of Frist's announcement of his support for the federal funding of embryonic stem cell research?
A: Frist's announcement Wednesday in support of federal funding for embryonic stem cell studies will have a huge impact on the debate and perhaps on Bush's decision. Frist was a top heart and lung transplant surgeon before joining Congress, and as the only physician in the Senate he is the GOP "go-to" man for all issues relating to health care policy.
Rove must have met with him to straighten him out.
Monday, January 03, 2005
Phoning It In
That being said, I think it is an embarassment to our country that George W. Bush wasn't even willing to cut his vacation short to address the situation. Now I know that he says that he can be just as effective from his "ranch" in Crawford, but the impression that this sends to other countries is: "We don't give a shit! Who the hell cares if 150,000 innocent people have died as a result of this. It didn't affect us and I've got brush to move."
Our global image is already at an all-time low. We don't need the rest of the world seeing us as insensitive to human suffering on top of it. How would we have reacted if on 9/11 the other world leaders just phoned in their condolences? Naturally, we'd have been pissed. But here we are eight days after the fact and George Bush is just now spending his first full day in the White House after his vacation.
As a nation we have to do better and like it or not George W. Bush is the face of this nation to the rest of the world. It would be nice if he at least acted as though he cares. Hell, he's been lying to us for the last four years, you would think he could lie to the rest of the world for a few days to save face. I guess that's too much to ask.
Sunday, January 02, 2005
I have had it with these damned "Support Our Troops" magnets! Everywhere I look, I see them. They're on cars, vans, trucks, trailers, sheds, grain bins, at the gas station, the grocery store, the mini-mart, the hardware store, and the local restaurants. It's not that I have anything personal against our troops, but dammit, I'm tired of being ordered to support them. Maybe if they said something like "I Support Our Troops" or "Please Support Our Troops," I wouldn't find them so annoying. But they don't. Instead they practically shout at me everytime I see one. "Support Our Troops!" "Support Our Troops!" "Support Our Troops!" "Support Our Troops!"
The final straw came the other day as I was buying humidifier filters at one of our local department stores. As I headed to the front of the store to check out, there was a large message painted on the front wall of the building that said "SUPPORT OUR TROOPS!" I wanted to ask the cashier why it's okay for them to order me to do something? And if I refuse then what ami, some sort of outcast? Am I un-American? Why don't they just say it like it is? Why don't they just say "Support The War, Dammit!" At least that would be honest.
Like I said, I don't have anything personal against the troops. I would like to see them brought safely home to their families. But here in Bumblefuck, Illinois, "Support Our Troops" means "Support Our President." We were one of the reddest counties in the entire state and my particular hometown was one of the reddest towns in the county. Just as an example, when the high school where I teach held their mock election in November, Alan Keyes received 48% of the vote against Barack Obama. 48%! I'm pretty sure that my house was one of only a handful to display a Kerry/Edwards sign in my yard. (I still have K/E signs in my windows just so there's no confusion as to who I voted for.) So here, "Support Our Troops" means more than just what it says.
In my opinion, I am supporting our troops by wanting them to be brought home safely. Forcing them to be in harm's way for an unjust war is a strange way of showing support. Personally, I think that supporting the war and the person who started it is just the opposite of supporting our troops. However, I'm not shouting at everyone and ordering them to feel the same as me. Maybe I need my own ribbon. One that says "I Support Our Troops...But Not The War."
What do you think?